The Wisconsin high school athletics association blew its whistle on fans' unsportsmanlike taunts and negative chants — such as "air ball" and "season's over" — and directed school administrators in an email last month to be ready to call such fouls.

Weeks later, the association's executive director has apologized for the distractions from widespread ridicule that followed the note.

Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletics Association Executive Director David Anderson said Wednesday that the email was intended as a reminder of a longstanding sportsmanship policy, not a crackdown on enthusiasm.

Anderson says his organization's message has been misconstrued and overblown, and he stands by the policy.

The executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations said Wisconsin's policy isn't overly restrictive and fits his group's "universal emphasis" on sportsmanship.